If you haven’t already been familiar with the term and the philosophy behind it, the first thing to learn is that Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical practices. Originating in India almost three thousand years ago, Ayurveda is still one of the most dominant medical practices in the country. The basic belief is that there is an inextricable bond between the mind, body and soul. It is a holistic approach to health and well-being and it is highly personalised. According to Ayurvedic teachings, a person is a sum of five elements; namely, air, space, earth, water and fire, and these are responsible for the creation of life energies known as Doshas.
Your Dosha is determined by the dominant elements within you. The three main life forces (Doshas) are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and each of these body-mind types can easily be recognised by their physical appearance, as well as their emotional and mental traits. There are numerous quizzes you can take to determine your Dosha in order to begin your journey towards health and well-being. According to Ayurvedic medicine, your Dosha’s balance is crucial for maintaining good health and spiritual well-being, and when an imbalance occurs everything in you suffers – your mind and body are both affected, and the first signs of imbalance are often problems with ingestion, increased levels of stress and skin problems.
Adopting Ayurvedic practices is a long process that requires dedication, and our goal today is to guide you towards adopting some of the basic self-care rituals that will help foster and bring out your natural beauty.
1. A good night for a good day
It doesn’t come as a surprise that both modern and Ayurvedic medicine agree that everything good begins with a good night’s sleep. After you’ve determined your Dosha, it’s important to stick to a sleeping regimen suitable for your body-mind type. The general rule of thumb is that it is best to be in bed by ten o’clock at the latest for every Dosha, but the wakeup times vary. For Vata types, it’s most beneficial to wake up at 6 am, while 5:30 and 4:30 are optimal for Pitta and Kapha types respectively.
Once you’re awake, take the time to think about your day and focus on the feelings you want to bring into the world.
2. Skincare matters
Every Dosha has a set of specific physical traits, and that extends to skin type as well. Vata types are usually recognized by dull and dry skin that easily loses its moisture. Pittas are generally prone to breakouts, and their insensitivity to hot and spicy foods often shows on its surface. Their skin is also often photosensitive and is warm to the touch. Finally, Kaphas, given that their dominant elements are water and earth, have oily skin, enlarged pores, and generally thick skin.
This is why it’s essential that you find the kind of skincare regimen and products that will cater to your Dosha’s needs, and in accordance with Ayurvedic principles, natural and vegan skincare products, such as those by Swisse, for example, are the best route to take. Natural products which contain plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids are highly beneficial for the skin, so always look for those ingredients. Keep your skincare routine simple – wash the face with lukewarm water, apply a serum and a moisturizer for your Ayurvedic skin type. An excessive amount of products can overwhelm and confuse the skin, so stick with simplicity.
3. Ancient grooming
Practice Garshana – dry skin brushing. Use a brush with vegetable bristles and start the massage from the feet and then slowly bring it towards your heart. This type of ‘exfoliation’ doesn’t only help remove dead cells but also stimulates the lymphatic system thus helping the body detoxify. Of course, the added benefit is that the brushing stimulates blood circulation, and since Ayurveda focuses on the well-being of the person as a whole, this isn’t only beneficial for your skin but your overall health. It’s crucial you learn how to do it properly to avoid counter effects and get the most of your beauty routine.
After completing the ritual, make sure to apply generous amounts of oil – sesame for Vattas, coconut for Pittas and almond for Kaphas, and do this before taking the shower, as this way the layer of oils serves to protect your body’s natural oils. Do this daily, and use the daily showers to wash away all the negative feelings that are poisoning your body and soul.
4. Serenity and beauty
It might be difficult to grasp, but yoga and meditation can have an enormous impact on your beauty, aside from cleansing your soul and allowing you to reconnect with yourself every single day. Every single asana has a purpose and each of them helps tackle a different skin issue, so take the time to explore the world of yoga, often referred to as Ayurveda’s sister and find the asanas that are right for your Dosha.
5. Eat what your Dosha tells you
The most important factor for keeping your Dosha in balance is suitable diet. Listen to your body and learn all about the types of foods that can aggravate your type. Generally, Vattas don’t respond well to bitter, astringent and spicy foods and it’s recommended they stick to sweet, sour and salty ones, as well as to make sure the foods they eat are easily digestible. Pittas, on the other hand, can experience imbalance if they overindulge in hot, spicy, oily, fried, salty and fermented foods, as well as excessive amounts of alcohol. Finally, Kapha’s imbalance can be attributed to overindulgence in food in general, and that is why low-fat and light foods are crucial for the maintenance of their balance.
The imbalance will always reflect on your skin because everything is intertwined. Whichever mistake you make will take a toll on your beauty, so nourishing the body, soul and face will show it.
Please don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family. You never know who might benefit from these ayurvedic self-care rituals.
Author: Sophia Smith
Fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. Fashion addict and life lover, writes mostly in fashion and beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. Regular contributor at High Style Life and Ripped.